Polar Bears bring out Shanghai Bowl during battalion formal
September 29, 2011
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- The 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry "Polar Bears" held their first formal ball since 2007 on Sept. 15 at the Commons.
For the second time in as many months, the "Shanghai Bowl" was brought forth from its vault, under armed guard, and put on display for members of the regiment to conduct the Shanghai Bowl ceremony and quaff from its splendor.
The first to sample the punch was the oldest Polar Bear in the battalion, Staff Sgt. Brian Blade from F Company. His cup was prepared by the youngest Polar Bear, Pfc. Robert Fletcher from Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
The evening began like most dining outs with Lt. Col. Robert Ryan and Command Sgt. Maj. Benny Dobbs and their spouses hosting a receiving line.
The colors were posted by sergeant of the color guard, Staff Sgt. Brian Hoy of A Company, 4-31 Infantry.
Chaplain (Maj.) David Goldstrom, 2nd Brigade Combat Team chaplain, gave the invocation, followed by Danielle Parson's rendition of the national anthem.
Guest speaker for the evening was Brig. Gen. Harry E. Miller, senior commander Fort Drum.
Miller advised the military personnel to lead by example, noting the higher you go in the chain of command, the more genuine you must be. He said that in order to care for a Soldier, you must know that Soldier, at work, at home, their Family -- everything.
He finished his comments by thanking the spouses and dates in the room for sharing their Soldier with the Army and for their sacrifices as well.
Additional guests of honor to attend were Col. Dennis S. Sullivan and Command Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Jones, 2nd BCT commander and senior enlisted adviser; Charlie Tapp, president of the 31st Infantry Regiment Association; and Lt. Col. John Clement, commander of 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment.
Ryan closed the evening by presenting a 31st Infantry print to Miller and a gift of an angel holding the regimental crest to each of the volunteers who helped plan and set up the event.
The volunteers were Michelle Morgan, Margaret Avey, Rhonda Seals, Danielle Parsons, Anna Harris, Allison Dorty, Lindsey Scanlon, Catherine Buckingham, Courtney Frantz, Amy Walton, Chris Ryan and Carol Dobbs.